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July 16, 2014

Pebble Hunting

This Time, We Count

by Sam Miller

One of our writers, Craig Goldstein, had an idea for the All-Star game that we didn’t get to, though I thought it had some merit: Which All-Star games have “belonged” to which players? Last year’s “belonged” to Mariano Rivera, for instance. Cal Ripken’s final game “belonged” to Cal Ripken, and so on. This year’s belonged to Derek Jeter like nothing in baseball has ever belonged to anything else. Bud Selig’s retirement was limited to a two-question commercial-break interruption. Tony Gwynn’s death was not even mentioned, not once. Neither was the death of Ralph Kiner. There was no aside noting that Tim McCarver was enjoying retirement after calling more All-Star games with Joe Buck than any broadcast duo in history. This was all Jeter’s.

How much so? I counted every time Jeter’s name was said during the game, and I counted every time the camera showed Jeter in a non-necessary shot, i.e., not while he was batting, running the bases, fielding a ball, etc. This wasn’t an original idea; Paul Boye was counting Jeter mentions and camera shots before he got exhausted by the task in the fourth inning. Deadspin’s Timothy Burke, more resourceful than me, counted the mentions in the closed captioning logs. Heavens, do I wish I’d thought to do that (or knew how to do that). Thanks to him, you can even watch every instance, some of which came in the pre-game (which I didn’t count).

I also counted every other player’s mentions. Partly to put Jeter’s ownership of this All-Star game in perspective. Partly because I was just curious if it would turn into something interesting. The results:

  • Jeter mentions (my count): 84, plus five times by a chanting crowd
  • Jeter cut-to shots: 90
  • Jeter in slow motion: 27
  • Jeter as the first shot after a commercial, or last shot before one: 11
  • Jeter with Mike Trout: 4
  • “Captain”: 6

Pretty good! As for the rest,

The stars:

The guys who did things:

The second-tier stars

The guys America just got introduced to, briefly:

The All-Stars at least one of the three announcers had never heard of:

Hunter Pence/unused bench players:

There needs to be an All-Star Ownership stat to put this in perspective—ratio of one player’s mentions to the next highest, or something. If my count is close to correct, Jeter’s mentions outnumber the cumulative mentions of 28 other All-Stars. They match the combined mentions of the game’s MVP, the MVP runner-up, the winning pitcher, and the guy who got the save.

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Related Content:  All-Star Game,  New York Yankees,  Derek Jeter

18 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Jul 16, 2014 04:50 AM
rating: 0

Weird Al would not approve of your using numbers as letters!

Jul 16, 2014 06:18 AM
rating: 2

Hunter Pence wasn't part of the unused bench. He hit a sharp grounder to third. Although it happened during an interview with John Farrell and was easy to miss.

Jul 16, 2014 06:22 AM
rating: 3
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Holy cow. Thanks.

Jul 16, 2014 08:25 AM

Mentions of Tony Gwynn: 0

Jul 16, 2014 07:42 AM
rating: 7

Pretty bummed they snubbed Gwynn. 10 seconds on the broadcast wouldn't have hurt anyone.

Jul 16, 2014 10:29 AM
rating: 4

I know it was mentioned in the article, but it's completely unacceptable.
A great baseball player and person and not a thing said. Just seems dumb.

Jul 16, 2014 12:23 PM
rating: 6

Jeter was 13-for-27 in All-Star Games, .481. That's pretty amazing hitting when he's facing no slouches on the mound.

Last night's lovefest also reminded me of one of the funnier sportswriting lines I'd read in the past year: "The worst thing you can say about Derek Jeter is that he enjoys the company of beautiful women." That's a pretty good way to be thought of.

Jul 16, 2014 08:17 AM
rating: 3

Too much Jeter, this man is not a god, he has not saved lives, he is just a baseball player. I had turn off the tube.

Jul 16, 2014 11:29 AM
rating: 1

Enjoyed this one. Thanks, Sam.

Jul 16, 2014 12:31 PM
rating: 0

"A pop song with a good hook and a certain timelessness."


Jul 16, 2014 13:07 PM
rating: 0
Bryan Cole

It is perfect.

I want everyone to remember this paragraph when Jeter gets a job at ESPN to call the occasional game and is soooo boring. That's not to say he won't have smart things to say, or funny stories, or sharp insights, but I guarantee he'll never share them on-air.

Jul 17, 2014 05:58 AM
rating: 2

Great article. All (awesome) joking aside, the Wainwright pipe balls to Jeter undercut every bit of the "This Counts" mantra. I was actually kind of surprised by Wainwright, given that the Cardinals have got a non-zero chance of playing in the next World Series...begging the question, "Do players attach zero value to home field in the Classic?"

Jul 17, 2014 19:13 PM
rating: 0
Bryan Cole

More likely, I think, is that players attach zero value to the All-Star Game, even when baseball tries (poorly) to add value to it.

Jul 18, 2014 06:07 AM
rating: 1

Jeter is neither, loose or tight
Jeter is neither, black or white

Can't stop the Jeter
Can't stop the Jeter
Can't stop the Jeter
Not with a curve, not with a heater

Jul 20, 2014 14:52 PM
rating: 0
Johnson Magic

Poor Wieters and Samardzija. They don't even get "didn't even get mentioned" mentions.

Jul 21, 2014 07:24 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Neither was on the active roster, is the reason for that

Jul 21, 2014 07:28 AM

Perhaps baseball as a standard thing should introduce a moment of silence at a certain point in the game for significant players and other baseball people who have died in the past year. Like the 10 count they ring at boxing matches for recent deaths.

Jul 21, 2014 08:20 AM
rating: 0
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